Gone are the days when you have to turn the volume down as soon as a commercial break hits. New legislation has passed that bans advertisements from airing a volume much higher than the program itself. The Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation (CALM) Act was signed into law on December 15th 2010. The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) adopted the rules a year ago, but had a one-year grace period to put the new regulations into effect. The act dictates that advertisements, previously allowed to play at a louder volume than the featured program, cannot be louder to protect viewers from a jarring noise when the program goes to commercial. The new regulations apply to broadcasters, cable, and satellite companies, and are only binding for television, not radio or internet ads.
The CALM act was introduced by California congressman Anne Eschoo, and she told The Wall Street Journal it was one of the post popular pieces of legislation she put forward in her 18 years in Congress. The bill was unanimously approved.